Tragic Algarve stroke victim dies in coma in Coimbra hospital

After a Christmas marked by state healthcare horror stories, the 74-year-old man transferred to Lisbon after suffering a stroke in Faro hospital has died in Coimbra.

The tragic story of Sebastião Pereira has been just one of many to hit the headlines over the festive holidays, suggesting a state health service on the point of collapse.

Nothing could be further from the truth, assures regional health boss Pedro Nunes.

The situation of Sr Pereira was one in which Faro Hospital did everything within its remit and power – not being equipped with a neuroradiological intervention unit.

“Everything went ahead as it should have done,” Nunes told the Resident today.

As Faro doesn’t have specialist facilities for stroke patients, INEM is responsible in deciding the next port of call, and in this case, Sr Pereira was transferred to the Hospital de S. José in Lisbon, which, for its own reasons, was unable to take him.

It was at this point that the seriously ill man was taken by ambulance to Coimbra. Weather conditions made a helicopter flight impossible, said Nunes – and, tragically, by the time Sr Pereira arrived in Coimbra, he was in a coma.

Faro hospital has since opened an inquiry to establish everything that led up to Sr Pereira’s transfer, but Nunes has told all the reporters that have been in touch with him that he is satisfied his hospital’s authorities did everything they could have done given the circumstances.

This was not, however, the only blight of the holidays.

For the full story of a health service under fire, see our paper edition out on Thursday.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com